Lives of the fellows

George Albert Scott

b.6 June 1911 d.21 October 1985
MB BCh BAO(1934) MD(1946) MRCP(1949) FRCP(1971)

George Scott was born at Clover Hill, County Cavan. His father was Richard William Scott, merchant and farmer. His mother, Elizabeth Matilda, was the daughter of William Crawford, also a farmer. When George was still a boy the family were driven from their home by the disturbance of the Irish rebellion.

George was educated at Coleraine Academical Institution and Queen’s University, Belfast. Immediately after qualifying he went into general practice in Preston. In 1941 he gave up his practice and joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, reaching the rank of surgeon commander, and at the end of the war returned to Belfast for postgraduate study. He was appointed physician, the first such appointment, to the Moyle Hospital, Larne, in 1950; it was one of the early fruits of the National Health Service.

It is probable that the relatively small population of East Antrim did not give George all the opportunities of which his intellectual vigour could have made so much. Nevertheless, it was he who brought the specialty of internal medicine to East Antrim, and by his work and example transformed practice there to the benefit of its people. For many years he had no assistance other than a house physician, and he was on duty 24 hours a day except when he was on annual leave. He brought to light the silicosis of flint crushers in the area (which ran a rapid course to death), and the pneumoconiosis of bauxite crushers.

He was founder chairman of the Ulster Society of Internal Medicine and it was due to his friendly, sensible and commanding personality that the Society was a success from the beginning. He served in the RAMC Emergency Reserve, being lieutenant colonel in charge of the medical division or 4th General Hospital. He was president of the Larne branch of the British Legion, first chairman of the local banch of the British Empire Cancer Campaign, and an active worker for the Boys’ Club.

The rocks of Antrim have long interested geologists, and George became a competent amateur geologist. In his youth he played rugby for his school, University and Ulster - and later played in Preston. He rowed on the River Bann at Coleraine and, later, at Queen’s, where he also played the Scottish pipes in the OTC band. In his later years, fishing, golf, bridge and bowls gave him some recreation. After retirement, he cared for his garden and also revealed a remarkable gift for modelling in pottery.

George was a cheerful, kind friend and colleague, of a most firm and upright character, an enlightened physician, a good citizen and a true Ulsterman. In 1936 he married Zillah Elizabeth Todd and they had two sons. Zillah, who survived him, was the constant support of his life and work for nearly fifty happy years. One son, George, became an architect who designed surgery buildings for general practices; the other, Liam, entered general practice in Holywood, County Down.

JS Logan

[Brit.med.J., 1986,292,1147]

(Volume VIII, page 444)

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